Will UK Smoking Ban Call ‘Home’ at Bingo Halls?

Bingo has proven to be one of the British public’s favorite pastimes, with the eternal image of a brightly lit hall and smoke-filled air becoming the first thing many people will think of when the game is mentioned. However, now, with smoking bans throughout the UK, many bingo fans prefer to stay at home and play online on one of the few gambling websites, where they can enjoy cigarettes without interrupting their game or having to go and stand outside in the cold during the winter months.

Since the introduction of the smoking ban in Scotland in March 2006, ten bingo clubs have been closed due to declining income, with club owners across the country complaining about the ill effects of the smoking ban on traditional bingo playing habits Trusted Online Slots Slot Online Terpercaya.

Nine clubs were closed in the UK as a precautionary measure before the smoking ban was imposed in July 2007, because many club owners anticipated the same setback in business once the ban was imposed, with a total of 200 clubs and halls expected to face closure. The owner’s fear is reasonable, because the survey revealed that 63% of smokers now play the majority of their online bingo with two million adults no longer going regularly to bingo clubs as they did before the smoking ban was introduced.

Although this is bad news for clubs and traditional bingo halls, online bingo sites have witnessed a dramatic surge in popularity and profits, with online bingo markets around the world now estimated to be worth $ 40 million per year, a figure that can be multiplied ten times if 1% from land-based Bingo space to convert from land to online. Big brand names like Virgin and Yahoo! now associated with the online bingo market in the UK, clearly shows how much potential big companies see in online bingo.

All of this is very far from the “glorious day” of bingo in 2003/04, where bingo halls and clubs saw a 24% increase in revenue across the country, an event that according to many bingo commentators is unlikely to happen again due to, not the least, the smoking ban. While smaller and independent bingo halls suffer the most and face a lot of closure from the impact of the ban, larger operators have managed to survive by introducing their own online gambling sites, which saw a 34% increase in sales last year; more and more land-based bingo companies may have to take action to combat the effects of the smoking ban.

An unpredictable time lies ahead for the same company and bingo players. With the onshore bingo market set to drop 12% further over the next twelve months bingo halls and clubs across the country are set to become a thing of the past, with online bingo not only offering alternatives for smokers throughout the UK but also providing a lifeline for bingo companies who are willing to make the online jump.

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